Both sides vulnerable


(S) 5 3 2

(H) 5 4 2

(D) K 5 3

(C) 6 5 4 2


(S) K 10 6

(H) J 9 8 7 3

(D) 9 7 6

(C) A K


(S) 7

(H) A K Q 10

(D) 8 4

(C) Q J 10 9 8 3


(S) A Q J 9 8 4

(H) 6

(D) A Q J 10 2

(C) 7

The bidding:

East South West North

1 (C) 1 (S) 2 (H) Pass

3 (H) 4 (D) 4 (H) Pass

Pass 4 (S) Dbl All Pass

Opening lead -- (C) A

West had his double of four spades all right; he had a trick in trumps and an A-K that might cash.

I'm less enthused over East's pass of the double. South was a favorite to have only one heart and might have none, and then East's hand would be virtually defenseless.

At four spades doubled, South ruffed West's second high club and confidently led the ace and queen of trumps. West took the king and led a heart, and East won and led the queen of clubs to put South in the middle: South could ruff low or with the jack, but West was sure of the setting trick with the ten of trumps.

If I'd been East, I fear I'd have pulled West's double to five hearts (down one) -- unless I knew South would misplay four spades. South must not ruff the second club; he must instead discard the six of hearts, a loser on a loser.

When West takes the king of trumps, he can't put East in for a club return; and South can draw the last trump and run the diamonds, making the contract.


You hold: (S) K 10 6 (H) J 9 8 7 3 (D) 9 7 6 (C) A K. Your partner opens one club, you respond one heart and he next bids one spade. The opponents pass. What do you say?

ANSWER: This is a miserable problem. You certainly can't show a preference for clubs, rebid the scrawny hearts or try notrump with no strength in diamonds. Raise to two spades, though that action also has a flaw: you'd prefer four trumps to support partner's second suit.

(C) 1999, Los Angeles Times Syndicate